Protecting the pieces of us that grow free in the wilds
“The greatest act of love for your children is to bestow onto them a healthy world
I've long appreciated the outdoors, growing up on a remote sustainable farm and living off the land; fresh vegetables, milk and eggs daily--paired with plentiful salmon from the rivers--nourished my family. As time passed, summer rains turned to the ashes of forest fires, the frogs I spent my young days chasing went silent and homes replaced the land that was once hunted for game.
Like so many others--when it was our time--my wife and I tried to intentionally carve out an tranquil existence for a family; I hung up the hammer that I grew up swinging and scoured the world for a picturesque town that we could raise our two children in and give them the experiences we had. What we found a decade ago was a village filled with winding trails, serene vistas and a strong history of environmental stewardship created by yesterday's legendary civic leaders.
It was within this town--enveloped by the caressing shade of stalwart Sitkas--that I forged a new understanding and appreciation of the complex natural world around me. From stalking salmon from the shorelines to sprinting through the forests, I yearn to be immersed in the world's most incredible playground on a daily basis.
Life is too rich and too amazing in Qualicum Beach to not want to pass it on to those who come next and I understand that without vigilance, this beauty can be lost in a generation. With that knowledge, I'm driven ultimately by this guiding principle: the greatest act of love for your children is to bestow onto them a healthy world to thrive in.
“It is my turn to ensure the hard work of those who came before is not forgotten
In 2013, my wife Nancy and I settled into Qualicum Beach from Campbell River to start a family. Now we have two children at Arrowview Elementary School, where I often volunteer to try to create opportunities for the children in our community.
In all, I've spent 20 years moving around Vancouver Island, immersed in the agriculture and tourism sectors. From farming to guiding sea-kayaking expeditions, I've been fortunate enough to be able to experience and appreciate the wonder of nature on a daily basis, up close and personal. These experiences of toiling in the soil and paddeling & camping along our beautiful remote shores have inspired me to give back these gifts to others, which I do by volunteering for agricultural and environmental organizations.
I have come to know that without the diligence of our predecessors who created bylaws and protected the land, the beauty of our environment--which creates jobs and draws people from around the world--would be lost. It is my turn to ensure the hard work of those who came before is not forgotten.
My family enjoys gardening in the yard, biking around town, hanging at the beach and exploring our library. Our spare time is best spent fishing our clean rivers, wildlife viewing--especially our coastal estuaries at low tide--and rock climbing anywhere. We embrace every opportuntity to enjoy this amazing village.
“Together we can work to preserve this stunning natural area for our kids and future generations too
My husband and I moved to Qualicum Beach in 2010 with our two young daughters. A year later, we had another baby and life was busier than ever with 3 kids under 4 years old.
Even with the chaos of young children at home, every day in Qualicum Beach felt like a vacation. I could hear the waves, sea lions and birds from my front door while the deer, squirrels and rabbits would frequent the street and backyard. The beach was deserted, the roads were quiet, the park was quiet, the kids were safe. This was an idyllic place to live and raise a family, with an abundance of trees, gardens and open spaces for adventure and play--free from noise, crowds and pollution.
When I was able to, I went back to school to get my teaching degree. I worked as a teacher on call in the local school district and I volunteer with an education and wellness group on intergenerational projects to create connections between children and seniors. When my children started school in Qualicum Beach I made strong connections with the other parents in the community. The common phrases I hear a lot are, “I love where we live” and “We are so lucky to live here!” The families in this area don’t take this natural beauty for granted and the children understand the meaning of environmental responsibility and stewardship. My children love walking in the forest and riding their bikes to school. They happily joined school friends in the school strike for climate march in 2019.
As our children grow, it is our job to lead by example and show them the importance of speaking up when our community and its environment are threatened. There is a new generation of residents in Qualicum Beach, and it is critical that we continue the important work that other caring citizens started. It can be very difficult for busy families to keep up to date with the goings on in the community so I encourage people to talk to one another, take an interest and enjoy this beautiful place. Together we can work to preserve this stunning natural area for our kids and future generations too